Xiao freed - Solomon Star News

Xiao freed

02 December 2020
Pacific Casino Hotel.

The Chinese national accused of unlawfully entering a quarantine station at Pacific Casino hotel in September had been freed, Tuesday.

Eddie Xiao was acquitted of the charge of the prohibition of entry of a person in a quarantine station due to insufficient evidence and technical issues regarding the quarantine regulation.

Xiao was charged contrary to clause 4 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (Declaration of Quarantine Stations) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order as read with Regulation 8 (2) and (3) of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020.

His lawyer Silverio Lepe of Sol-Law made a proposal to the prosecution to withdraw the charge due to insufficient evidence and also technical issues surrounding the quarantine regulation.

The prosecution had responded to the proposal and yesterday confirmed in court having insufficient evidence to sustain the charge and that there are also technical issues regarding the quarantine regulation.

Public Prosecutor Vernon Taupongi, therefore, applied to have the charge against Xiao withdrawn under section 190 (2) (b) (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Having granted the application, Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi had Xiao acquitted of the offence.

Xiao was accused of entering the quarantine station at the Pacific Casino hotel in a vehicle on September 3 and received a parcel from a person who was in quarantine.

It was alleged the parcel was passed through the ventilation of a room at the hotel.

Having allegedly received the parcel, Xiao then took off in his vehicle.

The prosecution alleged that Xiao was neither an authorized officer nor a quarantined person to enter the quarantine station.

Following a police investigation, Xiao was arrested and tested for Covid-19.

He was negative but was placed on 14-day quarantine last month.

Police arrested and charged him upon his release.

However, Xia was freed from this offence following his acquittal yesterday.


Newsroom, Honiara